On June 19th, 2nd Regiment Cadets participated in their first Field Training Exercise (FTX) at Advanced Camp 2021.
The FTX’s are separated into different stages: Wolverine, Panther and Grizzly. Cadets have to attend the three stages before leaving Fort Knox.
Cadets are using the “crawl, walk, run” method of training, which guarantees that every stage is more difficult and complex than the one before.
The 2nd Regiment is in the Wolverine stage.
During the FTX, Cadets perform various Situational Training Exercise (STX) lanes, which are simulated combat scenarios. They have the chance to use the information and techniques they have learned from the training events and apply them to these missions.
Cadet Alyson Hill, from Pittsburg State University, served as the platoon leader, who planned and executed the mission, during one of the STX lanes.
Hill says that one of the hardest parts of that role is trying to get everything done perfectly. “Everybody wants to be a perfect leader, but there is no such thing,” said Hill.
Though she mentioned a few things that help make the experience the best that it can be for her and her platoon, “Everybody gets along so well… we don’t have any issues with anyone,” she elaborated. “It really keeps you going through the day, because if your morale is low and if your platoon hates each other, you aren’t going to get anything done.”
Hill is a Cadet in Alpha company, first platoon; she feels that her group has really bonded since coming to Advanced Camp.
At events, like FTX, where Cadets endure high amounts of physical and mental exertion, their platoon makes an effort to keep morale high.
“We make it fun… when we have our downtime and can talk to each other, I think that’s the best part. You get to know your people more,” she said. “You know, we’re playing Army in the woods, so it’s more fun if you think about it that way.”
However, Cadets understand that these combat scenarios are a reflection of real-world situations; the weight of that awareness rests heavily on their shoulders.
Every platoon at Advanced Camp is full of Cadets that may one day become officers. “It’s about trusting them to conduct missions in real life,” she said. “These are life or death situations.”